10 Apr 2014

American Samoa health official tells locals not to panic over pink eye

4:52 am on 10 April 2014

A health official in American Samoa has re-assured residents that pink eye is not a serious long term threat.

Dr Mark Durand says that as of Monday morning 468 cases of pink eye had been recorded at the hospital and three community health centers on the main island of Tutuila, while there are no cases in the Manua island group.

However, these numbers does not include the nearly 2,300 students in public schools and 130 teachers affected.

Dr Durand says there are also a lot of people taking care of themselves at home instead of seeing a doctor.

He says the community should not panic over the pink eye outbreak.

"The good news with this kind of conjunctivitis is that it is rarely sight threatening and it is almost never life threatening. So it is a big nuisance for everybody but it is not a serious long term threat."

Dr Mark Durand.

Meanwhile all public schools will remain closed for the remainder of this week.

Public Schools were closed last Friday because of the outbreak and were due to re-open on Wednesday but the director of education has ordered schools stay closed for the rest of this week.